The Biblical Mandate to Take Care of Your Body
“Thou shalt not kill” (Exo. 20:13)
The sixth commandment requires that we preserve our lives and the lives of others. This does not prohibit self-defense, lawful war, or capital punishment, but it certainly forbids us to harm ourselves and others. To put it positively, the commandment tells us to take care of our bodies.
Why should we take care of our bodies?
Let me give you two basic reasons. First, God created our bodies. The prologue to the Ten Commandments states, “And God spake all these words” (Ex. 20:1). And who is this God who spoke all the words of the Law? This is the God who created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1). This is the Elohim God who created us (our body and soul) in his own image (Gen. 1:27). So by introducing himself as Elohim, God is reminding his people that he is their creator. God is saying to them, as it were, “I am the God who created your body. Therefore, do not harm your body and the bodies of others. I created your body in my own image, and on that basis, respect it.”
When you disregard your body, you disrespect the One who created it. Your body is the crowning work of God’s creation (Gen 1:31). Thus, treat it as special. It is the excellent work of God’s hands given to you as a gift. The way you treat your body can be an indicator of the level of your appreciation for the One who gave that gift to you. Do you value that gift?
Second, God delivered our bodies. God speaks to his covenant people, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Here’s what God is saying to the Israelites: “I have liberated you from the power of Pharaoh. Before you were serving him as slaves, now you are free from slavery. When you were in Egypt, the Egyptians ruthlessly abused your bodies. They forced you to work beyond your limitations. They tortured and afflicted your bodies without pity. But out of my mercy, I have brought you out of Egypt. And in light of this deliverance, do not kill—do not hurt your body and the bodies of others. Rather, honor me in your body.”
Do you honor God in your body? You are probably saying, “But I’m not a Hebrew set free from the house of slavery.” True! But in Christ did you not receive a far better kind of deliverance—deliverance from the bondage of sin? On this ground, God is telling you to glorify him in your body. This is precisely the point of Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
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Source: Church Leaders